Shetland Sheep: Rich in History, Rich in Textiles

Shetland Sheep: Rich in History, Rich in Textiles! Our farm mission is to enjoy and promote the wonderful diversity of the Shetland breed by fully utilizing to the best of our ability all they have to offer historically. We believe the best preservation and management of this breed includes it's full spectrum of history. We encourage old and new shepherds alike to join in the fun by engaging in fiber arts, especially spinning and knitting, as this breed is so intimately linked with those aspects of the arts.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Celebrating Col. Dailley's Flock Day

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to write to one of our breed organization's board members. One of the topics was the Dailley flock. In my many readings about Shetlands a few years ago, I had found a lengthy story on a website out of New England about a family that brought Shetlands out of Canada into the USA. It was really interesting, so I saved it. As time has passed, I've taken it out and re-read it...always finding it a valuable read.

The story tells much about a man in Canada who had remarkble intelligence and political skills on the world stage. Through his skill, diligence, and persistence, he was successful in bringing a small flock of Shetland sheep to my continent. He knew very little about the sheep, but he recognized early on how important it was to save this primative sheep from modernization and a very real threat of disease. Imagine, if a disease wiped out sheep in parts of Europe, this breed could be lost. Am I ever grateful for what he did!!!

Today, I have a bunch of descendents from those imported sheep. I am the recipient of his dreams...I have these sheep and they are protected and their numbers have grown since then, all things I'm sure he dreamed of. I received a gift. Disease pressure can no longer threaten this breed as strongly as it once did.

So I suggested to this board member that our breed organization, to express our appreciation for what Col. Dailley did for us, create a day each year to celebrate his work and the importation. I don't know what we could do, or how, but I know I would love to do something like that as a thanks. As long as I've been a member of our breed organization, nothing like this has been done to my awareness. I know Col. Dailley worked hard, and spent five years of tribulations in trying to care for and manage this first North American flock. I also know he sacrificed his garage for more than five years to bags of fleece!

Well, that message never got posted! Could it be that this board member...who might also be a member of MSSBA, take the idea and run....just like MSSBA did with the Shetland Showcase idea I proposed last year???? Sigh......

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